A new report tells us that Qualcomm has secured a deal with TSMC to manufacture some parts on the latter’s 5nm and 6nm process node. Whether this is for bolstering existing Snapdragon 888 capacities or for an entirely different line of products remains to be seen.
It appears that Qualcomm has jumped ship to TSMC for some 5nm and 6nm parts. The information comes from renowned Weibo leaker Digital Chat Stationhttps://weibo.com/6048569942/K9NfTmZcc?from=page_1005056048569942_profile&wvr=6&mod=weibotime&type=comment, which is future corroborated by a Digitimes report. This doesn’t bode well for TSMC’s primary competitor Samsung, who only recently got the opportunity to manufacture Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC.
The agreement raises quite a few questions. For starters, when will it go into effect? It can’t be anytime soon, considering that the chipmaker is operating at full capacity already. Furthermore, previous reports have told us that Apple has secure a good chunk of TSMC’s 5nm capacity for the foreseeable future. One can’t also help but wonder which Qualcomm product is this for? Is it the Snapdragon 888+ or some yet-to-be-announced SKU. Digital Chat Station says that it is for an upcoming piece of hardware which will be launched in H2, 2021.
In all likelihood, this could just be Qualcomm securing additional supplies for the Snapdragon 888. We learned some time ago from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun that the chipset was short in supply. This is reaffirmed by the aforementioned Digitimes report. Qualcomm has warned some of its customers that chipset deliveries could be delayed by as long as thirty weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how TSMC-made Snapdragon 888 chipsets hold up against their Samsung counterparts.
Anil Satyanarayana, 2021-04- 7 (Update: 2021-04- 8)